Safety in numbers

Expert Opinion
Safety in numbers

CMW turns attention to innovation in the field of event tech security, exploring topics like GDPR and facial recognition. Geoff Revill (pictured), Krowdthink’s MD and CEO, shines light on GDPR in event tech security.

The GDPR has caused great concern in the events industry, especially in event technology. When an event organiser utilises a 3rd party product to obtain or process visitor information they become responsible for the protection of those people’s data – and talk of large fines and strict compliance requirements has a lot of organisers worried.

Relax! Well a little. The ICO only fined 17 companies from 17,000 complaints last year. That’s not to say that dealing with defence of a complaint won’t cost your business significantly in time, effort and remedial action. This is the cost to avoid.

In terms of engaging event tech, look to execute a SLA, a Service Level Agreement, which will outline who has responsibility for what under the GDPR when it comes to processing personal data. Your event tech provider should be able to offer one as a start point for discussions.

Businesses perhaps most at risk are security organisations, as they execute surveillance using cameras, Wi-Fi, beacons etc. The GDPR-driven shift is from securing data collected to understanding the privacy rights of the individual – finding the appropriate balance between rights of the individual and rights of the crowd to be kept safe. There is a much greater requirement to be transparent about what you do and how you do it, so people can be informed or indeed seek further clarification. So what is best practice to usher in the GDPR for the business events sector? The honest answer is as yet we don’t know.

However, the event and venue security industry has the chance to define for itself how to interpret the GDPR and set precedent – and this is what was discussed at a workshop sponsored by the British Security Industry Association in London last month, with more workshops in planning. This is how GDPR will be implemented – by industry working together to define best practice.

Krowdthink Ltd, developers of the Krowd event and venue app for networking and social engagement, have won funding under the UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition to improve crowd resilience. Read the full article on CMW’s sister title, Conference News: 

Facing up to cyber security
Facial recognition software, when used ethically, improves security systems. We spark a dialogue…

The 2017 Annual Data Breach Year-end Review (Identity Theft Resource Center) revealed 1,579 as the total number of US publicly disclosed data breaches in 2017. As online ticketing and mobile-related event applications become main targets for cyberattacks (Corbin Ball & Co), the event sector becomes ever more familiar with ways to stay safe in this digital age. One such way is with facial recognition technology, which, in essence, allows businesses to pull a precise faceprint from of a photograph, which uniquely identifies an individual.

A range of companies in the events sector are starting to use this tech. For example, Zeus Biometrics, a company based in Houston, Texas, offers a facial recognition solution that speeds up the event check-in process and ensures greater security.

The software help event organisers in identifying attendees by performing a real-time search of a database of faces. Joe Schwinger, founder of MeetingPlay, a mobile event apps company in Frederick, Maryland, says, “The ability to search a database of faces in real time can speed up check-ins and boost security protocols.”

With a shift towards data-driven content at events, stricter security measures, and best practice is implemented at the coal face.

Read Geoff Revill’s piece on event tech security in issue 95 of CMW, online here:

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